NFL mock drafts have been all over the map as they pertain to the Patriots.
Some have featured New England going after a tight end, a position of great weakness for Bill Belichick’s team in the 2019 season. Others speculate the Patriots will target a quarterback, which makes some sense given Tom Brady’s impending free agency.
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, however, believes New England will look to bolster its defense with the 23rd overall pick in the form of LSU’s Grant Delpit.
“The Patriots could look at an offensive lineman here (see: Michigan center Cesar Ruiz), but they need to add some youth and athleticism at the safety position, as well,” Jeremiah wrote.
It’s not tough to imagine New England having a liking for Delpit, but there’s a good chance the 21-year-old won’t slide that far. Delpit twice was named a consensus All-American over three seasons with the Tigers, including his junior campaign, in which he also received the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in college football. Belichick likely would love to work with a player like the 6-foot-3, 203-pounder, who excels both in coverage and in the box.
While safety probably isn’t among New England’s top priorities at present, it’s an area that soon might need to be addressed. Longtime defensive captain Devin McCourty is set to hit free agency in March, and his agent recently made it clear retirement won’t be an option this offseason. Furthermore, Patrick Chung will turn 33 just weeks before the start of the 2020 season and has battled a slew of injuries in recent years.
In short, the Patriots sensibly could go a number of directions with their top pick in late April.
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